Obesity, Sugar, Dr Joe Schwarz discussed on Something You Should Know
To eat and maybe more importantly choices about what not to eat. And you don't have to look very far to find a lot of people offering advice to you on what you should and should not not including your diet. The problem is that there is so much advice in often contradictory advice and also advice. That doesn't seem to make any sense. It's it's hard to know who's right. Every Diet has success stories of people who have lost weight or live to a hundred but who knows if they kept the weight it off and who knows if the reason they lifted one hundred had anything to do with the Diet and who knows if the Diet is even safer something. You should try still bill. Despite all the Wacky Diet advice there is science and yes. Even the science about nutrition and Diet can be confusing. But it's probably a good good place to start in understanding what to eat especially if you have someone who can sift through all the science and make it understandable and that's just who we have today. Dr Joe. Schwarz is director of McGill University's Office for Science and society which is dedicated to demystifying science. I Anson separating sense from nonsense and he's author of a book called a grain of salt the science and pseudoscience of what we eat. I Joe thanks for coming on today high. So why do you think people are so confused about what to eat well. Generally there's such an of information formation that comes at us every day that people have a difficult time knowing what to believe what not to believe and it isn't the only only from self-proclaimed bloggers but also the science itself can be confusing because there's so many articles that are published you know there's about five appear reviewed scientific papers published every minute of every single day. Some of which are very good at some are very bad. Most of them are mediocre but The interpretation of these Papers as far as the public is concerned is very difficult. And they are left at the mercy of the media to interpret these and Very often often Reporters are are not so adept at understanding the science and they'd sensationalized stories. You know people. Legitimate are confused is because you know they hear well one they. Butter is bad for us. We should not beating saturated fats. We should be switching to margin than you find out. Margarine contains transfats. We shouldn't be eating that and they get the impression that scientists to know what they're talking about and that is actually not correct because the size of nutrition and can deliver a lot of very valuable information. It's true that we never come to an absolute conclusion. That's that's science is is not the white or black. It's very gray. And we constantly modify but the basic tenets are really quite sound when we tell people just to watch their overall calorie intake to watch their saturated fat intake to minimize added sugar and eat lots of fruits and vegetables and that has not changed But you know when when people go online All they'll find all kinds of miracles one day they are told that celery juice if the answer to all of their problems and it's certainly understandable that that People are confused by all of this. They don't know whom to believe who not to believe in but it isn't always that extreme. It isn't either it's all scientific or it celery juice. There's a lot of in the middle of one day. Coffee is good for you next day. Coffee Shop at absolute. That's alright all right. That's where I think people really get. Confused is because because there's arguments on both sides. There are arguments on both sides but it is rare at the arguments on both sides have equal validity. And you know this is something that is very difficult in journalism because journalists in in Journalism school are taught always to give both sides of the of the issue. The traditional problem that comes up they'll interview an expert on one side and an expert on the other side and then write an article on it and it it Seems as if the two sides have equal validity which is very are you rarely the case it usually is an instance where majority of the scientific community is behind one and Some outliers are behind ninety other so you always have to take a look at the big picture. One single study doesn't mean anything in science. You have to take a look at all of the studies. These and Don't carry into that but Jake Cherry Tree couple of Cherries Mash them together. And see what that That delivers so since your book is called a grain of salt. Let's start there. Let's talk about salt because there are conflicting theories out there that a assault is bad for you be that that salt is only a risk for people who already have or are predisposed to high blood pressure. It can can make it worse but it has no effect on people who don't have high blood pressure and see that salts okay so so who's right chemicals Whether it's alter or sugar or whatever else you want to talk about or not good or bad. There's no such thing as a safe or dangerous. Chemical they're safe or dangerous ways to use them and Context is very important. Amounts are very important amounts matter. It's not a question of eating in Salt nutty thing so we have to look at how much salt and there's a plethora of evidence for cutting back on the amount of salt that most North Americans beat the current recommendation is about twenty three hundred milligrams of of sodium a day that's roughly translates relates to To a teaspoon of salt north Americans eat far more than that Most of them have double that or you know fifty percents more more than that and we know that that is linked to high blood pressure. And we do to cut down on that and other issue. Is that the foods that have have High Sodium content generally or poor nutritional foods for other reasons as well they tend to be highly processed and to have a lot of sugar as as well so cutting back on salt but certainly not eliminating. It's because salt is essentially electrolyte You know that for example you know. Marathon runners will lose who's sodium and they have to replenish it But the average North American consumes way too much sodium and There's no question that that is linked to high blood. Pressure and high blood pressure is a significant risk factor for stroke and for A heart attack. What is the current science? Say about artificial sweeteners. As far as safety goes there's no real risk. There are number of artificial sweeteners that got earned the market today. The most widely used ones or aspartame sucralose now food additives before they go onto the market have to pass through who whole range of regulatory hoops and hurdles. It's not a question of a company saying well. You know this thing pay sweet. I think we'll attitude to food. No it's on. It isn't like that in Canada Health Canada veteran relates this and the US is it is the FDA and they have to be satisfied of the risk benefit NFL profile as with any other component of food it is possible for individuals to have an idiosyncratic reaction to an additive. So for example example is possible that people will get a headache from aspartame. It's very rare but it's it's possible so you can never ensure that that anything anything any aspect of our food supply safe and everyone because people are biochemical individual but as far as the study go there really is no safety issue now. That being said I'm not a fan of artificial sweeteners. One is that they have not done what they were supposed to do. which is to reduce the right of obesity in North America? That hasn't happened. Artificial sweeteners have been around for a long time. ASPECT MS sucralose sales have skyrocketed rocketed since about nineteen eighty and yet we do not see any effect on on the rate of obesity. Now exactly why. That is a matter of some debate Some researchers suggest that Using artificial sweeteners just increases or taste for sweets in general and that people have been. We'll eat other other sweet stuff and increase caloric intake The other possibility is that You know someone will be so so pleased with themselves for having put an artificial sweetener into their coffee that they will reward themselves by having that piece of cake with the coffee that they might not have had hat had they put sugar in coffee and cake will have more calories than it than the sugar would have had so I think in general artificial sweeteners are not the answer to the obesity. Problem But I don't think they pose a significant risk to health there a lot. There's been a lot of talk lately about out. Sugar and how horrible sugar is and it is you know the new devil and And so what do you say. Well it's the added sugar. That's the the problem Sugar that is present is the natural component of fruits and vegetables is not the issue sugar that is at at the soft drinks for example is these as who When you consider sugar sweetened soft drink contains about forty grams of sugar? And that is the amount that according to the World Health Organization station should be the sum total of all the added sugars that we consume during a day. So just want soft drink will put you at at that limit and and Sugar is linked to Overweight it's linked to obesity and turn. Obesity is linked to increased risk of heart disease stroke stroke and several types of cancer. That's that's quite clear so we certainly do need to cut back on the amount of sugar that that we're consuming in North America America. It's not a question of totally eliminating it As I said no no single food should be looked at as an angel or devil but Consumption Thompson is what we need to look at. We're talking about the science of nutrition today and we're talking with Dr Joe Schwarz. His book is called a grain of salt..